I sat here and just re-read all my posts about my Tiger Cruise experience and realized I still had not completed the promised follow-up. It is not that I haven't tried....at least a dozen times I've sat down to write this, but words eluded me. I'm not sure why. But I'm gonna try again- so please bear with me!!
Much has happened over the past few years and much has changed. Kat is no longer in the Navy- her enlistment was up in '10 and she lives outside Seattle in Marysville and is attending the Seattle Institute of Art and Design and shooting for a piece of paper in web development. She is in a good spot in her life and enjoys her life there tremendously.....she lives with her boyfriend (a great guy by the way) is really close to his family (Hi Julie!!!) and has a quirky pooch to round out her life (Gemma). Life is good for her and she will admit that the Navy was good for her as well.
Eric x'fered to Hawaii last year after re-enlisting and is attached to HSL-37 at Kaneohe Bay at MCBH and does "O" level maintenance on the SH-60 choppers. He also got married last year!!
My Tiger experience was pretty amazing...and it reinforced the role of the Navy in the world today.....well at least up to the past half year or so. Government mandated reductions in manpower and costs may drastically alter the Navy as I saw it.....talk is underway about reducing the carrier fleet and things like eliminating PCS x'fers and the like. Let us hope that these changes do not reduce the defense nature of our Navy and that they don't imperil us. Enough of that....
Would I do another cruise if possible....in a shot! I'd be packed by this afternoon! That may never come to pass...Eric is talking about getting out at the end of this enlistment...we'll see. Being married changes many things and we'll see where his priories lie.
The experience was pretty transformational for me....until then I had extensively seen and studied the Navy via books, TV, movies, the 'net, etc.. But until you walk the flight deck of a carrier at sea and see the crews performing their duties, it really does not hit home. Since that time NavyDads has grown tremendously and many have gone on Tiger Cruises....I glean from their posts that they too, had the time of the lives! For those that have the opportunity to go....DO IT!!! I cannot emphasize that enough! Not only do you get to see your sailor(s) in their working environment, but you come away with such a greater appreciation of the sacrifices that our sons and daughters make to serve their country. It altered my view of many things...now, when I watch things like the USS Iowa moving under the Golden Gate last month, it brings a tear to my eye...that rich history and tradition that our Navy has built it's foundation on.
I reiterate....for those that have the opportunity to go....DO IT--- it will be time of your life and an experience that you'll carry for the remainder of your life!!!!